What Is the Best Teeth Whitening Product Available?
by Dr Richard Barry
Over time, your teeth begin to lose their color or may become stained, from what you eat or drink such as wine, tomato sauce, and coffee. Many people believe the only way to get a bright, white smile is through expensive dental visits with professional whitening products. While professional teeth whitening at the dentist can get you optimal whitening results, there are at-home alternatives as well. Below are the best teeth-whitening products available today.
Whitening toothpaste does not bleach the teeth as professional treatment would do but rather removes the discolored surface area using mildly abrasive ingredients. Many whitening kinds of toothpaste contain things such as peroxide, baking soda, activated charcoal, and more.
Using whitening toothpaste is an inexpensive way to achieve a brighter smile as many of the most used brands are $10 or less per tube. It is important to know that the overuse of whitening toothpaste containing peroxide can permanently damage or destroy the natural collagen on your teeth.
An electric toothbrush is much more effective in comparison to a manual toothbrush at removing surface stains from your teeth. Oscillating toothbrushes are often better compared to others but can come with a higher price tag.
Electric toothbrushes range anywhere from $8 all the way to $300 depending on the brand and feature it offers. Many electric toothbrushes ranging from $20-$30 are effective in removing surface stains.
Many whitening strips are clear stips containing a hydrogen peroxide-based gel. In just a few weeks you will notice a significant difference in the color of your teeth. Whitening strips are often sold in sets, one strip for both the bottom and the top teeth.
Whitening strips are relatively inexpensive, especially in comparison to professional whitening treatment, as they are often available starting at approximately $10 and up depending on things like the brand and strength. The strips are designed to be left on for up to 30 minutes, again, depending on the brand.
Teeth-whitening strips are made both intrinsic and extrinsic. Intrinsic whitening is the actual bleaching of the teeth to change the enamel color, most commonly with hydrogen peroxide. While extrinsic whitening uses a mild abrasive, such as activated charcoal, to remove stains from the outer surface of the teeth, making them appear more white, but not actually changing the color.
Whitening Gel Tray
Another commonly used teeth whitening practice is the use of a whitening gel tray. These gel trays yield the best, longest-lasting results of the most available whitening methods.
The tray is custom-made and fitted specifically for you by your dentist by using a mold of your teeth. Your whitening tray can be used as long as you have it, given your teeth do not significantly shift.
To use this whitening gel tray you will purchase a gel to be used at home. To ensure the life of the gel it is best kept in the refrigerator. To use the tray at home, remove the gel from the refrigerator and squirt it into the tray. Place the tray on your teeth ensuring the gel does not touch your gums. The whitening tray can be left on anywhere from 1-3 hours depending on your teeth sensitivity and personal preference. It is important that you do not use the whitening gel tray overnight as it can lead to extreme sensitivity.
Professional Teeth Whitening
A professional teeth whitening session is often performed in a dentist’s office. These visits often take longer than at-home whitening treatments, however, the results are typically better than you will receive from at-home treatments. Professional teeth whitening takes several sessions to healthily achieve a bright, white smile.
At a professional teeth whitening appointment, a high concentration of either hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide will be applied to your teeth, typically several times throughout the duration of your appointment. Your dentist will often finish up your treatment using a UV light to accelerate the reaction of the whitening treatment.
Professional teeth whitening does not just change the color of the surface of the tooth. With professional whitening treatments, you can whiten your teeth from the inside out. You will see a noticeable difference in the color of your teeth with just one treatment, although it is still recommended to follow through with 1-3 appointments for optimal results.
Professional Teeth Whitening at Lifetime Dental Health
Whether you are currently whitening your teeth, or are looking into professional teeth whitening, it’s important to remember that you must keep up with routine dental appointments and good oral hygiene. It is recommended to see a dentist for a routine cleaning and a checkup every 6 months.